TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The daily number of inbound tourists from mainland China is expected to soar past 600 by the end of September, given a spate of measures designed to facilitate visits by Chinese tourists, according to the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).
Wu Chao-yen, chief secretary of the Tourism Bureau, said the government has introduced a series of relaxation measures, such as simplifying visa issuing procedures, allowing mainland Chinese to visit Taiwan for medical-tourism reasons, and expanding mainland Chinese tourist groups to visit Taiwan via the routes under the system of three mini direct links.
Wu said the first batch of medical-tourism groups from mainland China are expected to arrive in Taiwan September 28, and the first Chinese tourist group coming to Taiwan via the three-mini-direct links system will set foot on the island Sept. 30,
He said with the upcoming long holidays starting from China's National Day Oct. 1, the number of inbound mainland Chinese tourists is poised to shoot up at least 20 percent from the second half of September through the first half of October,
Meanwhile, the numbers of arrivals and departures recorded under the three-mini-direct-links system, inaugurated in 2001, broke the three million mark as of Sept. 19,
Just one day earlier, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo said that the government has set a goal of 1,000 daily Chinese tourist arrivals by the end of this year.
Mao made the remark at a legislative session during which Legislator Chang Hwa-kuan of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party asked whether President Ma Ying-jeou had reneged on his campaign promise.
Chang noted that Ma, in his election campaign, said that an influx of Chinese tourists would help to revive Taiwan's economy. Ma forecast that 3,000 Chinese tourists per day would visit Taiwan in the first year following Taiwan's opening in July to larger numbers of sightseers from China, Chang added.